Yesterday afternoon I made a pumpkin pie for my host family which we will eat tonight. Technically it is made with squash, but I think it will turn out the same. Yesterday when I was in the middle of making it, an older woman who lives across the street stopped by to see my host mom. My host mom wasn't home, but the visit timed out perfectly because I had just realized that I needed three eggs and only had one. So I asked the neighbor if she could lend me some eggs, which she happily did. Tonight I went back to her house with a piece of pie as repayment. She and her husband are really friendly and great, and immediately invited me into their home. They knew I was American, so they asked about where I was from in the US, how I liked France, etc. Her husband, who fought in World War II, took me into the living room to show me a picture representing his experience with America- a recently-taken photo of him on Utah Beach (where the Allies landed in Normandy on D-Day).
It was so cool to meet these wonderful French people. Granted, I have found all French people to be wonderful, but this was an especially nice encounter. And I just loved the feeling of running across the street to bring my French neighbors a piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving.
People in France don't really know what Thanksgiving is, or if they do it is just from seeing American movies. My host dad thought it was called "Panksgibbing."
Today I tried to explain to my English class (in English) what Thanksgiving is all about, but from the blank stares I received in response, I'm not sure if they understood. After I finished talking, my teacher summarized what I had said: "So basically it is a holiday to say thank you." Upon hearing the phrase "Say thank you," all my classmates very obediently and automatically said "Thank you" in unison. It was hilarious.
Also, to continue with the benign anecdotes:
I went to the supermarket after school today because I was hungry and needed to buy whipped cream for my pie. So I bought a can of Pringles and a can of whipped cream. The check-out lanes were really busy, but finally I got to the front of the line. Sometimes my American credit card doesn't work so well here, so I held up the line for a good five minutes while the check-out girl tried to get it to work. Everyone in line was really annoyed. There I was, the stupid American, holding up the line with my stupid American credit card, buying a can of Pringles and a can of whipped cream. Embarrassing. Really really embarrassing.
So that is what Thanksgiving looks like in France, if any of you were wondering.
I hope everyone had (or has, since the day is not yet over) a great holiday, and I hope you all find some really killer deals at Target or wherever the hell tomorrow.